Friday, October 30, 2009

A Rather Unsettling Pair of Articles

Maybe everyone already reviews each day, like me, already.  Making this post and others like it thoroughly unnecessary.  Just in case you do not, however, here are two of my favorite OpEd writers: Sowell and Noonan. 

Sowell is a long-time professor of economics at Stanford and Noonan is, amongst other things, a former speech writer for Reagan.  

We're Governed by Callous Children

Americans feel increasingly disheartened, and our leaders don't even notice.

Dismantling America: Part II

By Thomas Sowell

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Knew It...

What Happened to Global Warming?

By Debra Saunders

"What happened to global warming?" read the headline -- on BBC News on Oct. 9, no less. Consider it a cataclysmic event: Mainstream news organizations have begun reporting on scientific research that suggests that global warming may not be caused by man and may not be as dire and eminent as alarmists suggest.

Indeed, as the BBC's climate correspondent Paul Hudson reported, the warmest year recorded globally "was not in 2008 or 2007, but 1998." It's true, he continued, "For the last 11 years, we have not observed any increase in global temperatures."

At a London conference later this month, Hudson reported, solar scientist Piers Corbyn will present evidence that solar-charged particles have a big impact on global temperatures.

Western Washington University geologist Don J. Easterbrook presented research last year that suggests that the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) caused warmer temperatures in the 1980s and 1990s. With Pacific sea surface temperatures cooling, Easterbrook expects 30 years of global cooling.


On a mostly separate matter...A National Geographic article was forwarded to me yesterday and it seems most of the dinosaur bones we have are completely misidentified.  They now believe that there was only a handful of species, as young dinosaurs went through a virtual metamorphosis as they aged/matured.  

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Rationale

"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," the committee said. "His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population."

-Perhaps the Swedes should read the latest poll results from Rasmussen, Gallop, Pew, and pretty much everyone else...the US is becoming pretty darn disillusioned.

-Fascinating: must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority. Do they truly pretend to know what the majority of the world thinks? What a standard? I would be disappointed if my 6th graders failed to see the logical consequences of such a paradigm. Lets one time the majority of the world thought slavery was ok; at another time most people advocated monarchies; perhaps it wasn't quite the majority of the world, but certainly the majority of the world as the Aztecs knew it thought human sacrifice was advisable--so they did follow the standard of doing what was popular with the greatest number of people.

I side with Pope Benedict the XVI, who recently stated that it is the creative minority that most often influences history and changes the world.

Let's get creative...

Current Headlines

There are so many dandy headlines I have come across today!  This post will simply be a list of rewards for best and worst headlines.

1. The award for, No Real Surprise There goes to the who has, honestly I presume, discovered that the late Ted Kennedy actually came clean about much of his disordered life while dictating his autobiography to a ghost writer.  Fortunately for his legacy, the late Senator's family prevented this material from making it into the final version, which is to be published.  Ted Kennedy Claimed to Have Slept with over 1,000 Women  One of the highlights is as follows: The source added that Kennedy even admitted to having planned to seduce Kopechne the night his car plunged off the road in Chappaquiddick.  He even admits to paying out $10 Million to keep things mum.  And to think that a Cardinal opted to honor this man at a Catholic Mass...SCANDALOUS! 

2. The award for, Humor goes to and their following short headline: Ethics Panel Widens Rangel Probe  

3. The award for, You Have Got To Be Kidding Me goes to the Swedes who saw fit to award Oh, Bama the Nobel Peace Prize.  One colleague declared that he is truly offended by these racist Swedes.  Obama has published multiple books and is on his way to curing all that ills the American Health system.  There is no excuse for them to have overlooked Obama for the Nobel prizes in literature and medicine!  Clearly this was a race-based "oversight."  


4. The award for, Well That Just #*sses Me Right Off goes to Harry Reid and all his fellow frauds.  He actually found a way to get Nevada, and three other states, off the hook of paying for their own states' required expansion of Medicare as required by the Baucus Bill.  To think that thoroughly bankrupt states like California and Ohio will have to pick up the tab for Nevadans, who don't even have to pay any state income taxes just ticks me right off.  Especially because everyone else, but Alaska--as far as I know, has to pay a state-income tax to build their roads and what not, but Nevada gets that covered by their dividends from the gambling industry...which, incidentally, mostly comes from the residents of other states already.      

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Public Schools...a monster's metamorphosis

A cousin recently made a facebook comment on my facebook page, expressing her desire to reform education in our home state of California.  I replied with the following comment: 

Oh I have plans for education! Let me ask you this? What would be the worst possible system of education??? I posit that a system that is governed by large numbers of far away bureaucrats, with schools that are meant to house thousands of students at once, with 20+ students per teacher, with teachers that must pass the latest pop-psychology courses and be trained in theories of education but not required to truly master a specific discipline, all while providing a minimal amount of supervision between classes and, further more, not allowing even a conversation of objective, absolute values may be the most preposterous debacle ever to be evolved.

I would like to add a few more thoughts.

1. Bishop Sheen warned years ago, when massive public funding of schools began, that if private schools did not share in that funding then Catholic schools would soon collapse.  I'm not certain if he foresaw the collapse of their mission or just the collapse of their finances.  

2. How is it ethical for the state, federal and local, to confiscate a parents' income to subsidize public education; an education the parents might find immoral and dangerous.  When public schools are rife crime and bullying.  When the parents are opting to save nothing in order to put their children through a private school which receives no, or almost no, financial assistance from the money the state took to educate their kids.   

3. I once read that all but one of the founding fathers of the US could speak or read Latin and Greek.  Why does the public, and typical Catholic, school omit our heritage?  

4. The US public schools did fine, initially...but like all things that are grounded with/in a false failed in the long run.  

5. Many in the Reagan administration wanted to dissolve the Federal Department of Education...Bill Bennett, former Sec. of Education says Reagan told him he simply couldn't do it at that time, but needed Bennett to at least make sense of the thing.  I don't think any one in a major office, at present, has the guts to take on this one.

6. Did anyone else think that the video of children singing the Obama kumbaya song smacked of scenes from the Hitler Youth...when the young were instructed to sing and praise and thank the political leader that made all things possible? 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rebuttles to some of Oh, bama's li(n)es

My comments are inserted after the quotes pasted from the transcript of Obama's speech, they are in italics.

under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance - just as most states require you to carry auto insurance. But with auto insurance you are only required to purchase it if, and only if, you choose to own and drive a vehicle. Talk about apples being compared to jello.

While there remain some significant details to be ironed out, I believe a broad consensus exists for the aspects of the plan I just outlined: consumer protections for those with insurance, an exchange that allows individuals and small businesses to purchase affordable coverage, and a requirement that people who can afford insurance get insurance. I'll concede this one. You probably could gather fairly broad consensus on these three points...but that's when you started in on part II of your speech tonight.

the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple. But the house/senate bill that was floated did include some sort of panel that would make decisions on what was and was not reasonable treatment for individuals. Of course you didn't CALL it a death panel...Sarah Palin and others simply saw through that one.

under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions But you are already using federal dollars to fund abortions internationally. It was right around the annual March For Life that you revoked the Mexico City Policy, which Bush II had restored after Clinton. So you are perhaps half-truthful on this one. Also, what is abortion anyway??? homicide, murder?

Unfortunately, in 34 states, 75% of the insurance market is controlled by five or fewer companies Then tear down the restrictions that prevent out of state companies from marketing their competitive policies in other states.

they'd be right if taxpayers were subsidizing this public insurance option. But they won't be. I have insisted that like any private insurance company, the public insurance option would have to be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects. But by avoiding some of the overhead that gets eaten up at private companies by profits, excessive administrative costs and executive salaries, it could provide a good deal for consumers. It would also keep pressure on private insurers to keep their policies affordable and treat their customers better, the same way public colleges and universities provide additional choice and competition to students without in any way inhibiting a vibrant system of private colleges and universities. What a bogus example...considering that the US government is already subisdizing the private colleges and universities in the form of student loans, grants, etc. What would be left of the private colleges and universities if federal and state aid were not allowed to be paid to them??? And you just said you want to end such subsidies to health insurance companies. And what do you call the start of costs or the coverage of overhead, other than subsidies out of taxpayer pockets??? If you are not offering the same deals to the private firms, then you are using the taxpayers, and their customers, to undercut them...subsidze them. I find this one of the most egregious mis-truths of the night.

a strong majority of Americans still favor a public insurance option of the sort I've proposed tonight. Thank you for informing us of this one, oh omniscient one...every report/poll I have read for the last few weeks says the opposite.

I will not back down on the basic principle that if Americans can't find affordable coverage, we will provide you with a choice. That is unless you want to choose to opt out of health insurance, because you already said that such a choice would be met with a penalty fee.

I will make sure that no government bureaucrat or insurance company bureaucrat gets between you and the care that you need. Define 'need.' Just the word I would choose to use here, if I wanted wiggle room later on down the road.

we've estimated that most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system - a system that is currently full of waste and abuse. Right now, too much of the hard-earned savings and tax dollars we spend on health care doesn't make us healthier. Shouldn't that money longer taken from us, if we are being overcharged presently, then stop taking so much...just because you found a way to prevent fleecing the tax payers, you think you get to keep the fleece to do what you want with it???

This reform will charge insurance companies a fee for their most expensive policies, which will encourage them to provide greater value for the money This will encourage every insurance buyer to go .....1%below the policy that is being taxed, this is a golden goose that will drop dead, not keep laying. Further, everyone wants such a plan! How is this just? You have the best, now you have to pay an extra fee for having the best. I bet that all of congres and all the Kennedy's have just such a plan!

health care is decisive for our future prosperity, but he also reminded me that "it concerns more than material things." "What we face," he wrote, "is above all a moral issue; at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." Yes this is a moral issue! Taking responsibility away from the individual is morally repugnant. If I have to work two jobs to pay my bills then that is my problem, not Oh, bama's.

Obama's second half

Tonight I found myself down right surprised by the number of particulars I thought tolerable, and in some cases even liked, in Oh, Bama's speech. And then the second half of the speech ensued.

Let's simply highlight three humorous moments:

1. When Obama declared that his bill would not cover illegal immigrants. There was a racous boo, hiss that ensued. Oh, Biden and his cohort Pelosi truly glared, Pelosi possibly snarled.

2. Biden and Pelosi continued to glare at the crowd to their left (not a political code in this instance). Biden even passed Pelosi a note. It seemed he almost tried to pass it under the table, but a couple inches of the page were visibly passed, received, read, and acknowledged with a nod.

3. Some bald Representative continued to sit, while others stood, with a sign he had quickly drawn: "What Bill?" Because, after all, despite all his talk about the bill he has put forward their remains no bill in anyone's hand. Is it all in his mind?